Smile Politely

Celebrate National Bike Month in C-U

The forecast is a little bit dicey at the moment for Friday — high of 76 with a 50 percent chance of showers — but that shouldn’t stop you from giving National Bike to Work Day a try on May 15, if you haven’t already been celebrating National Bike to Work Week all week.

If you don’t already have your route worked out, download Champaign County Bikes’ Champaign-Urbana Area Bicycle Map (pdf). It won’t help you find an easy way to cross Interstate 74, but it will give you a lot of assistance in finding your way across town and through campus safely.

Other events in C-U and the surrounding area scheduled for National Bike Month:

May 17 — Sangamon River Valley Bike Ride

It’s put on by the Monticello Lions Club, and there are 16, 25, 35, and 46 mile rides (note that the first rest stop is well over halfway through that first 16 miles). It’s all “same day” registration — just be there! (folks do ride out from C-U). Registration fee is $20 per person or $45 per family. Family means living in the same household. Fee includes a t-shirt and lunch, which is served at the courthouse square from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

May 20 — Ride of Silence

Join cyclists worldwide in a silent slow-paced ride in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. The ride will depart from the Assembly Hall parking lot at 7 p.m. The proposed route is eight miles. It’s designed to be a ride for people who care about cyclists, not just the addicts, so let your friends know. Black armbands are one accessory that helps the public suspect that this is not a “regular” group ride or a regular Critical Mass ride; in the past two years we’ve had 30-40 participants, including folks from a wide perimeter who looked for a ride to participate in. (We also are ferociously careful about following traffic rules, and regroup after traffic lights and that sort of thing.) Some people have put signs on their bikes so that people can see the person they’re riding for. Dressing in simple black/yellow is also effective.

May 30 — Habitat for Humanity’s Tour de Build

This ride will feature “Women Build” and other houses in the area built with the “sweat equity” Habitat for Humanity is famous for. Available routes are 3, 8, 26 and 54 miles (Champaign, Urbana, St. Joseph and Rantoul houses, respectively) to accommodate riders of all skill levels, along which riders can see some or all of Habitat for Humanity’s 52 homes and a new one under construction in Rantoul. There’s a finish line party at the ReStore (119 E. University, Champaign). Advanced registration is from April 1 through May 15. Individuals: $10 for the short route, $15 for the medium route, $20 for the long route. Families: $25 for any route. After May 16 through day of event, fees will go up by $5.

Thanks to Sue Jones and Prairie Cycle Club for providing event information.

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